Professional and Career Topics

  • 1.  AI and Engineering Ethics

    Posted 05-27-2021 09:13 AM

    AI is becoming integral to design of systems in all engineering fields. This raises new ethical issues for engineers.  What are some ways this is being and can be addressed in teaching design and in engineering programs in general?

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    AI & Ethics - Nordic Engineers

    William Kelly Ph.D., P.E., ENV SP, F.ASCE
    St Michaels MD

  • 2.  RE: AI and Engineering Ethics

    Posted 10-24-2021 09:19 PM
    What most people still consider AI comes from classic sci-fi franchises like The Terminator and The Matrix. In these franchises, one present-day issue I see with the human characters is that systems are either dismissing or overriding the human experience. In the first Terminator, several characters who die were being distracted by modern-day technology, a la horror characters who were too distracted with themselves and each other to notice the killer standing by; and in the second Matrix, The Architect reveals to Neo that after two futile efforts to lock every human into a fantasy land, he realized he had to insert choice into the programming so rebellion against him could be cyclically subverted.

    I think both of these can be addressed within engineering programs themselves. That despite how much progress we've suddenly made in technology, there still need to be human eyes and elements to all the parts of the systems that keep this work flowing.

    Alexander Granato A.M.ASCE
    Bexley OH
    [email protected]

  • 3.  RE: AI and Engineering Ethics

    Posted 10-26-2021 01:07 PM

    An interesting topic that deserves everyone's attention. It is because, AI – in terms of AIPPS (AI-Powered Products and Services) are present in whatever we do and use – and it's going to be more overwhelming in time to come. By default, engineers (not civil engineers per se) are part of this extraordinary development together with our colleagues in the computational science. There were some discussions on it in the Collaborate topic: Advancement of AI in collaboration with Autonomous Vehicles – Rethinking our Traditional Traffic Infrastructure (Horizontal/Subsurface Infrastructure & Transportation).

    But serious questions have been emerging across the board on different ethical aspects on AIPPS. The 2020 Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma has amazing portrayals and discussions on it. I have tried to address some of it by asking 9 questions in my piece: Artificial Intelligence – the Tool of No Limit with discussions on Ethics, Morals and Laws. AI and Civil Engineering – also came into focus – highlighting how civil engineering profession – in terms of tools and models that we use – are getting facelift and transformation. Of course, this transformation has its own implications on Ethics and Morals.





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    Dr. Dilip Barua, Ph.D, P.Eng, M. ASCE
    Vancouver, BC, Canada